Karina Wilsher moves up to become Anomaly global CEO

Holding company MDC Partners may be in a permanent state of seeming crisis but Anomaly, the agency founded by the UK’s Carl Johnson, seems to sail serenely on, oblivious to the burning timbers and falling masonry.

Now CEO Johnson is stepping up to be group chairman – Anomaly now includes Emmy-winning long form content company ACE and newly launched social and cultural change agency Activista – and has appointed former New York CEO and currently Anomaly global COO Karen Wilsher to replace him (both below).

Johnson says: “Karina is simply superb – someone that I’ve enjoyed working alongside for many years now, where I’ve seen her grow into an inspiring role model and fearless leader with drive, vision and empathy. This has been the plan for years, as given our different model, the level of our ambition and the strength of our culture it’s not an easy place to join, never mind lead, so we love to grow our own.

“No one gets promoted here without delivering and she delivers. She relentlessly focuses on excellence; from helping existing clients create the right solutions for business problems to winning new business, evolving the Anomaly offering, to being at the forefront of talent and cultural issues, particularly diversity and inclusion. After two years working together as Global CEO & Global COO, this is both excitingly fresh and yet also plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.”

Wilsher says: “As a company, we have incredible momentum, and I’m honoured to be at the forefront of yet another step change. The entrepreneurial culture that exists across all of our offices globally has never been more relevant to our clients, so it’s an incredibly special time to be driving us forward. Our ambition has always been intoxicating to me, so frankly I couldn’t be happier.”

Wilsher recently launched Anomaly’s global gender equality offering, Unreasonable Equals, focused on helping brands drive gender equality through marketing and product innovation. She also led a collaboration with UN Women in New York to evolve the industry-focused initiative,The Unstereotype Alliance, designed to end harmful stereotypes that are often perpetuated through advertising.

Anomaly clients include Ancestry, Anheuser-Busch InBev, BRP, Carnival Cruises, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Google and Unilever.

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